Sunday, October 21, 2007

JAPAN: Rice cake toss

Japan is a country where people throw rice cakes from a roof. An unfinished roof. Rice cakes, or mochi, symbolize longevity which is what you'd want in a home. Collapsing homes suck after all. This is why the construction workers of this particular project are throwing mochi at the neighborhood kids below. It's a blessing for the happy family that will soon take residence. "Please don't collapse!" they pray. Just for good measure, money is also thrown overboard. That's why you see little old ladies and grown men getting in on the action. Like me, they're saving up for an iPhone.

After I took this video I dove into the mosh pit, too. Though I only ended up with one measly mochi. Oh yeah, I'm currently in southern Japan right now, visiting relatives and friends. Just like in Los Angeles, I've been going around devouring tasty treats and discovering wondrous oddities.

This rice cake tossing tradition is something that, in all my years of traveling to Japan, I discovered just yesterday after a kindly neighbor came by to tell us about it. "Come! They're about to toss food and money off a roof!" Who'd think that generosity still existed in this world. In Los Angeles it'd be more like, "Run! There's a gunman spraying bullets from the roof!" Sigh... I'm gonna miss Japan.
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Chubbypanda said...

Hee hee. Well, it's because traditional Japanese homes used to only have support columns, not load bearing walls. So they were more prone to roof collapses. In the colder regions, too much snow on the roof could take down a house.

Arhythmius said...

Sure, we've got the psycho killers -- but they're years behind on fro-yo. ;)

Inland Empirical said...


Are you supposed to eat the mochi? Is it wrapped or do you just brush the dirt and rocks off of them?

It is komochi, no?

Pirikara said...

Yup, it was komochi...a little stub of a mochi. And it was wrapped so there were no rocky surprises.